NWA Member: Dory Detton
Admitted to Organization: October 1951
Corporation Name: Southwest States Enterprises
Manager and Director: Dory Detton
Amarillo Office: 2218 Polk Street
Amarillo Address: P.O. Box 2353
Phone Number; 2-7721 (1955)
Public Relations and Publicity: Collier Parris
NWA Member: Dr. Karl Sarpolis
Admitted to Organization:
Amarillo Office: 2003 Washington
Phone Number: Drake 2-7721 (1955)
There was a pause for consideration before admitting Dory Detton into the National
Wrestling Alliance. He applied, met the requirements, and sent a payment for his initiation
and dues. However, to review the credentials of Detton, and particularly his claim to the
ownership rights of Albuquerque as well as Amarillo, was a special NWA committee
consisting of Morris Sigel, Johnny Doyle, and Leroy McGuirk. On October 17, 1951, NWA
President Sam Muchnick issued a bulletin reviewing the Detton situation, and included a
letter from Detton explaining his side of things.
According to a photostatic copy of a check received by Muchnick, Detton paid $3,000 for
the booking rights to Albuquerque on April 13, 1951 from Mike London. London, as of
October 1951, was already a member of the NWA, but there was still confusion over
Albuquerque, and an investigation was opened by the Alliance. As part of the packet of
information he mailed Muchnick, Detton also enclosed meeting minutes from the gathering
in El Paso the day he purchased Albuquerque. He stated that also present at meeting
were London, Texas Wrestling Commissioner M.B. Morgan, Alton Erickson, and London's
partner Sam Menacker. Detton found it amazing that London still claimed ownership. "His
basis for ownership cannot be substantiated by any means," Detton wrote, "unless it be by
right of conquest, which I am sure the National Wrestling Alliance does not condone."
A lengthy battle between Detton and London over Albuquerque was on.
Collier Parris, Detton's publicist, was the former sports editor of the Abilene Reporter-News,
and reportedly did work for the promoter in "14 southwest cities."
On July 9, 1954, Detton wrote to Dick Patton of Muchnick's St. Louis office, thanking him for
booking Con Bruno there starting August 9. He also confirmed Cyclone Anaya's local
booking beginning that same day.
Information about the sale of the Amarillo "territory" had reached the NWA headquarters in
St. Louis in August 1955, and Muchnick sent a letter to the new owner, Karl Sarpolis. He
explained that "no membership in the Alliance can be sold to someone else," but that once
Sarpolis filed an application, he'd be considered as a potential new member.
Sarpolis and D.W. Bartlett, a Waco District Judge, sold the Tucson, Arizona promotion back
to Rod Fenton on February 4, 1958. It was said that one of the reasons was that Tucson
proved to be too far from their Texas circuit and that they were eager to sell out.
In September 1959, Bartlett and Sarpolis teamed to buy the Lubbock promotion.
Sarpolis and Muchnick were longtime friends, but Sarpolis was doing what he felt was right
for his territory, and Muchnick, of course, was always working in the interest of the NWA.
On September 4, 1963, Muchnick mentioned Sarpolis in a letter to Jack Pfefer in Chicago.
Sarpolis reportedly had put out a list of the top ten heavyweight wrestlers, and didn't
include Lou Thesz, the NWA World Heavyweight champion, among them. "How deceitful
can a person be?" Muchnick asked Pfefer, and noted that Sarpolis blamed it all on Dory
Funk. "Who is the promoter, he or Dory?"
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|Amarillo Booking Office